Most of my traveling time is spent in Europe visiting my German family and taking care of my 91-year-old mother. So I'm super excited when I get to go somewhere else. Even though we live fairly close by, I had only been to Canada once a long time ago. I was happy when my husband planned a week-long trip to western Canada.
So off we went, flying from San Francisco to Vancouver. My man was fascinated by the view of all the places we flew over, pointing out Mount Hood and Mount Rainier popping up through the clouds, Crater Lake and more. I read a book by Wally Lamb, She Comes Undone, and loved the short 2-hour flight. Compared to the usual 11 hours to Europe, no problem.
Downtown Vancouver is a growing, international city with many fascinating places. Stanley Park is lovely and the Emily Carr totem poles are a must-see. If you have the time, go for a long stroll, but as we only had an hour, we had a taxi driver give us a quick tour. I had originally planned to eat at Bao Bai, a Chinese restaurant Ruth Reichl recommended. I'm a big fan of hers and read both her books and her blog. And she did such a fantastic job with Gourmet magazine. By the time we were ready to eat, it was too late for Bao Bai, so we ended up at Joe Fortes, dining on the roof top. The oysters there are outstanding and taste different from the ones in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. The food and ambiance were pleasant and we enjoyed our first evening in Canada.
The next day, we set out to go on a road trip to Lake Louise through the Rocky Mountains. Altogether we drove over 2070 km (1300 miles) on this trip and had a wonderful time. To be precise, my man drove (he loves driving) and I just took naps and enjoyed the scenery. From Vancouver, we drove to the town of Kamloops, where we stayed overnight twice—on the way up and back. Before Kamloops, we had lunch in the town of Merritt where I spotted a Japanese restaurant called Garden Sushi Japanese Restaurant. As it was my job to supply my driver with nourishment, we had a wonderful lunch, home cooking at its best. I get super excited when I run into good food. In Kamloops, we shared a horrible lamb burger on the way up, but had a great meal on the way down at Ric’s, a chain with about 20 restaurants. We ate in the one in downtown Kamloops called the Ric’s Mediterranean Grill. My man had a wonderful, tasty risotto with shrimp and prosciutto—creamy, rich and flavorful. I was very impressed and will try to get the recipe. I had a panko and crab-crusted piece of wild salmon with a leek risotto, also very good. Too bad we didn't find this place on the way up. Sorry, there are no pictures to post.
After a night in Kamloops, we drove to Lake Louise on the very scenic Trans Canada Highway, passing small towns and resorts. It was a loooong drive, over five hours. The scenery is lovely and we drove through several parks. The entire highway is a two-way road with lots of trucks (you have to love driving to do this). We reached Lake Louise around 4 pm. A stunning sight, this high mountain emerald lake took my breath away. It is surrounded by snow-covered mountains that reflect onto the lake. We stayed at the lodge on the lake, a Fairmont resort. All I wanted to do is be by the lake—I could not get enough of this panorama. When the almost full moon rose around 9:30 pm behind the mountain, illuminating the lake, it became a spiritual experience for me. Before the moonrise, the dim evening light did a shimmering dance of the mountains reflecting in the still water of the lake.
After two wonderful days on Lake Louise, we drove north on the Icefield Highway through Jasper Park. This was another breath-taking experience, with glaciers and high snow-covered mountains for miles and miles. We went on a steep 4-mile hike and had a wonderful day. Do not miss this if you are visiting this part of the world.
We ended our day in Jasper with a great meal at Evil Dave's. The coconut shrimp soup was delightful and had a real kick (as the waitress warned me). My Falafel dinner was good and my husband liked his bison meatloaf, a good choice for a place to eat in Jasper.
We drove back on Highway 5 to Vancouver, overnighting again in Kamloops.
Jasper is a cute town and I hope to do this trip again one day, but will fly into Calgary to eliminate some of the driving. This trip was more a feast for the eye and the soul than for the belly, experiencing nature at its best. Life is good.
Keywords: Lake Louise, Jasper, Trans Canada road trip, Icefield Highway
WELCOME TO SUNNY COVE CHEF
Thank you for visiting my blog. My two passions are cooking and traveling. Traveling exposes me to a wide variety of food and experiences. I walk around cities looking for markets, restaurants, bakeries, shops, you name it, and if it is related to food you will find me there, tasting, smelling, talking to vendors, and having a great time.